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Ninoy’s ghost

By: Raymund Fernandez August 21,2018 - 09:34 PM


So who’s afraid of Ninoy’s ghost?

Not those who remember EDSA.

Not those who remember how Ninoy joined our country together for a brief period of our history, for which brief period we can still be proud of even to this day despite the shamefulness that has transpired quite mostly in recent times.

And those short years will soon be coming back.

Ah, but it is only the nature of history to bring us to peaks and troughs, to cycles of triumph and ignominy, pride and shame, hopefulness and despair, relative freedom and our rights stripped away, honesty and crookedness, relative peace and people dead in the streets, life and more than 20,000 dead…

And since we celebrated August 21 not as a day to honor Ninoy’s memory and martyrdom, then I have to explain to my children who Ninoy was.

For he is somewhat forgotten by now. “Who was he and why is he important?”

The answer comes easily to mind falling smoothly from memory to lips — a story so easily intoned in words to tell us how we slipped from a period of political turmoil into a time when we were ruled by the iron fist of martial law: How for decades we could not complain or be honest about all that transpired because the press was muzzled.

The most believable media were photocopies and mimeographs of words we shared between us secretly and out of reach of government eyes and ears.

Truth went underground and purified itself that way even as our conditions grew from bad to worse.

Oh, it absolutely wasn’t his fault that fuel prices skyrocketed along with everything else. Leave it to muzzled government press to tell us that, notwithstanding how history would reveal an accounting of all that was stolen from us in more than 2 decades. Need proof? Search Guinness Book of World Records first. Figure that out.

And still in time, the old dictator grew old and sickly. We could see it in his bloated darkening face and the increasing feebleness of his words. And then we knew how his own closest cronies would soon take over and we would be even worse off — darkness sinking into an even deeper darkness.

It was in this darkness that Ninoy came home despite the risks.

Dictators fear many things in their twilight.

But most of all, they fear the man who would unite a people so abused for so long. For even before the native’s return we were already singing to ourselves how a single lighted candle grows even brighter the darker the night.

And there had been many lighted candles growing brighter in our memories already. Not everyone was silent in those muted times. There were many who had already given up everything including their lives.

And we needed just that one last single candle to light up the land so we would know how many we truly were. Ninoy died on the airport tarmac, alone except for his killers. He was buried by millions.

And by that, we knew the dark days were ending.

We would soon go into better times.

He made us stop being afraid. Who’s afraid of Ninoy’s ghost?

The people who want to return us back to martial law and the rule of one man with an iron fist. Why is Ninoy important? He still proves to us how those people stand on the wrong side of history.

He whispers to us, Never again. Never again…

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TAGS: ghost, Raymund Fernandez

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